Srila Prabhupada’s 118th Vyasa Puja Celebration
Srila Prabhupada has a special place in every devotee’s heart. Since Kolkata is his birthplace so the city of joy is very dear to all Iskcon members worldwide. And in Kolkata, devotees always try to celebrate Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja in a grand way. This year too an elaborate arrangement was made to commemorate Srila Prabhupada’s appearance day and his unparalleled contribution to the world. All devotees – young and old, men and women, brahmacharis (celibate monks) and grihastas (householders) – enthusiastically participated in this wonderful event. The ceremony began with the glorification of Srila Prabhupada. How this venerable sage transformed the lives of millions of people is now an open secret. While offering their tribute to Srila Prabhupada each and every devotee narrated their own personal experiences and expressed their deep gratitude to Srila Prabhupada from the core of their heart.
The celebration took place at Iskcon House, Gurusaday Road. The venue was colourfully decorated. A beautiful rectangular dais was built for the occasion. The dais had four pillars, each of them was covered with green leaves and each corner had multi coloured balloons. Srila Prabbhupad’s deity was placed at the Vyasa Asana for grand abhishek ceremony. The stage also had Srila Prabhupada’s beloved deity Krishna and Balarama. Amidst the ringing of the bells, blowing of the conch shell and melodious kirtans and Vaisnava songs the bathing ceremony (abhishek) ensued. Milk, honey, Ganges water, fruit juices, colourful flowers like red rose, yellow marigold, purple and pink lotus etc were used in abundance. Songs like Ohe vaisnava thakura and (yadi) Prabhupada na haita .. (composed by HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj) surcharged the festive atmosphere with emotion. On this special occasion Srila Prabhupada’s footprint was also introduced, this footprint will be kept in the temple in his Vyasa Asana. Offerings of HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj and HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj were read by HG Acharya Ratan Prabhu and the same was translated in Bengali by HG Ananga Mohan Prabhu. After abhishek, Guru Puja and Maha Arati of Srila Prabhupada were performed. Everyone happily participated in it. In the end a big feast greeted all which further enhanced the joy of the festival.